green goddess salad

I am not a fan of those recipes that try to hide vegetables in foods where they clearly don’t belong. For one thing, “deceptive” is not a word I want applied to any of my relationships. For another, I strongly believe that if you cook vegetables correctly, they’re so tasty that there’s no reason to avoid them. I also strongly believe that if you’re an adult who is still picky about vegetables, then you need to stop being such a big baby, grow up, and eat your damn vegetables. I am bossy.

Anchovies, on the other hand, I am comfortable sneaking into dishes without telling Dave. Dave unfairly maligns anchovies based on years of delivering pizza, disregarding my claims that anchovies aren’t meant to be dumped whole onto pizza anymore than garlic cloves are. There are people who enjoy their pizzas being overwhelmed by one strong flavor, but for most of us, both garlic and anchovies are better as accents.

Anchovies should in general be treated like garlic – minced, used judiciously, and added to the recipe early so that the flavor permeates the dish in a soft, subtle way. Or, in this case, blended into a dressing. Anchovies add not just salt to a dish, but a nice meatiness. If it makes your food tastes like fish, you’re using the wrong brand of anchovies.

I snuck one anchovy into this dressing the first time, two the second time. Dave didn’t notice. I didn’t tell him. Next time, it’ll be three anchovies, and maybe then the flavor will be strong enough to add more complexity to this already fresh-tart-rich-healthy-delicious mix of ingredients. My goal isn’t to deceive Dave; it’s to convince him that, when used correctly, anchovies are wonderful – just like vegetables.

One year ago: Clafoutis
Two years ago: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

Green Goddess Salad (adapted from Eating Well)

Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side dish

I skipped the celery, because otherwise I’ll buy a bunch, use one stalk and forget about the rest in the fridge until it’s suitable only for compost.

If at all possible, do not use chickpeas that are cooked without salt. You’ll end up with little flavor voids.

½ avocado, peeled and pitted
½ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, sorrel, and/or chives
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 anchovy fillets
8 cups bite-size pieces green leaf lettuce
12 ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp (21-25 per pound)
½ cucumber, sliced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, dried, and quartered
½ cup chopped celery

1. Puree the avocado, buttermilk, herbs, lemon juice, and anchovies in a blender until smooth.

2. Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Top with the shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and celery. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.


  1. Isn’t the Goddess a brand/kind of dressing? This sounds really good actually.


  2. By the way – why does “One Year Ago: Clafoutis” link to the Green Goddess Salad Recipe??


  3. bridget says:

    Wei-Wei – Fixed, thanks. Green Goddess dressing is a type of dressing.

  4. That looks delicious. And AMEN to your first paragraph. Veggies don’t have to be sneaky, they are delicious! Adult picky eaters are such a pet peeve of mine – which is fun because half my friends are picky. >.<

  5. Can you come over here to NC and dress down my fiance for his various vegetable dislikes? Luckily, he doesn’t have a problem with anchovies, but mushrooms? Raw tomatoes? Squash? Hmph. And any dressing that could get him away from Ranch would be fantastic. Kudos to you, though, on your measured progress with the anchovies 🙂

  6. Yum! Added this to my to-try list!

  7. I LOVE your first paragraph! The whole hiding your veggies thing has been killing me lately, especially those Chef Boyardee commercials with the mom knocking over the display so the saleslady can’t tell her kid there’s veggies in it. a) Chef Boyardee=not an acceptable form of veggies anyway b) teach your kid to like them, k thanks.

    Your salad looks great though & I always love your pictures!

  8. treewhisperer says:

    i take it dave doesn’t read your blog…poor, poor dave… :p

  9. I always get so annoyed when I hear people and kids’ shows reinforcing the idea that kids hate vegetables, because then kids DO hate vegetables since people keep telling them it’s normal. Drives me bonkers. Thank goodness there’s marketing to tell them that they like fast food. Whew!

    Creamy dressings aren’t usually my favorite but I’ve seen a few Goddess recipes lately and am intrigued. This may be cheating, but it might help me make a dent in a rarely-used tube on anchovy paste.

  10. My husband would probably be okay with an anchovy, but the little mini shrimp–no way. He has a shrimp “thing” where they can’t be too big or too small or just cant bear to eat them. I love him anyway 🙂

  11. And then there’s my husband, who orders his caesar salad with extra anchovies! At least that’s given me a chance to try them and realize I do like them – in small quantities of course. This salad sounds wonderful!

  12. What a lovely salad! I have been wanting to try this kind of salad for so long. Er, minus the anchovie, which I know is integral to this dish, but I just don’t think I could stomach it. Looks scrumptious anyway!

  13. Haha, I’m with Caitlin – can you come to RI and have a chat with my husband about his veggie issues? He doesn’t eat any – not a single one – veggies. I’ve never tried anchovies, but I have heard they’re good if used, as you said, as an accent.

  14. I don’t have much experience cooking with anchovies, but I’m not opposed to them. I may have to pick some up for this dressing- the salad looks lovely. Everything in it looks delicious and fresh!

  15. Beautiful salad!

  16. Totally agree on sneaky cooking – not really a fan of being deceptive, but I don’t mind the extra nutrients 🙂
    It is a big pet peeve of mine when people allow their kids to be picky and eat crap “just so they’ll eat something.”
    In any case, this salad looks really delicious!

  17. That salad looks absolutely amazing! I haven’t ever had green goddess…looks like I have been missing out 🙂

  18. Stephanie says:

    This salad rocked my socks off. Oh my goodness, it was so good! I literally licked my plate clean after making this last night. And I’m not ashamed! I added a clove of garlic to the dressing and I’m so glad I did. It was extremely flavorful and delicious before adding the garlic, but it was perfect after. Thanks so much for such a fantastic recipe!

  19. Patty says:

    Where is says “Puree the avocado, buttermilk, herbs, vinegar, and anchovies in a blender until smooth”, is vinegar a typo, and should be lemon juice? I don’t see vinegar listed.

  20. Patty – Yes, that’s a typo! Thanks, I’ll fix it.